Tampa Bay’s chances of returning to the Super Bowl haven’t been slim. Before a ball was thrown in anger in the 2021-22 season, the Buccaneers’ odds were very healthy. Hovering around 5/1 isn’t bad, regardless of whether you went to the big show during the previous campaign.
However, a lot has happened in a short period, and, on the surface, it only enhances Tampa Bay’s opportunities. Currently, there isn’t much that looks as if it can prevent the Florida-based team from marching to Inglewood, California on February 13th, 2022.
You can normally predict which rosters will be successful and make the playoffs.
This season is different because the usual suspects are performing poorly, as highlighted by the markets that set the odds for betting on American Football in the NFL. For instance, the Kansas City Chiefs have plummeted to 12/1 after a rocky start.
Without the Chiefs, it’s left to the Buffalo Bills to pick up the slack. The Bills are 11/2 second-favourites and typically at the top of the betting, yet their recent track record of winning Super Bowls is mediocre.
The New York outfit hasn’t reached one in over 20 years. In the McDermott/Allen era, the franchise has featured in the post-season yet hasn’t been past the AFC Championship round.
Meanwhile, 8/1 third favourites the Arizona Cardinals have only won seven playoff games, three of which came in a single season. In comparison, the Buccaneers beat better opposition during Super Bowl LV with a quarterback who has seven rings.
An on-Fire Offence
The power of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offence is no secret. It’s packed with weapons for Brady to throw bombs to regularly.
Even so, it’s red-hot right now and showing no signs of slowing down. Just ask the 40+ quarterback who threw his 600th touchdown pass against the Chicago Bears.
Although people do sleep on the defence, it hasn’t been as impressive this season as it was last.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating – the Buccaneers have conceded more than 20 points four times already. Of the fixtures where they managed fewer than 20 points against, they let in 17 points twice.
You may think this highlights a vulnerability. Of course, the fact of the matter is that their attack has won four games with over 40 points.
While the attacking weapons are gelling, it’s hard to see them losing games. They’re 5/2 to win the NFC Conference, for instance.
One issue that the Buccaneers can’t appear to control is luck. Successful franchisees, like football teams, require a hefty slice of fortune to go all the way and win major trophies. Unfortunately, injuries are beginning to plague the roster.
Antonio Brown has a sprained ankle, as does Lavonte David. Cornerback Richard Sherman pulled his hamstring and may be out for a while. And the legendary Rob Gronkowski fractured his ribs and could miss weeks of action.
Not only are several of these guys star players, but they are on the offence (Brown and Gronkowski). So, the franchise’s main weapon may be blunted a bit should they not return to the field soon. In that case, their 5/1 odds may tumble, just like they did with the Chiefs.
Super Bowl LVI appears as if it is in the hands of Tom Brady and Co. But if injuries play their part, the Buccaneers will have an uphill battle to secure back-to-back crowns.